Tag Archive: scotland

Today was shaping up to be a pretty terrible one, I had a really bad migraine, all my muscles ache from building a bookcase and I knew I was going to have to build another one today.

Then my girlfriend rang me and woke me up, she just kept babbling on about whether or not I’ve seen the news or been on Twitter yet today. Eventually she was coherent enough to tell me the Scottish Government was going to legislate for equal marriage.

My day has been made. No my life has been made.

I don’t think I can put into words how terrible it feels when the country you live in legislates against you, when it refuses to see you as an equal in society and refuses to give you the same rights.

I’ve had the equal marriage debate a hundred different times with so many different people and it is surprising the amount of different views floating around. From the people that despise the pesky gays for trying to force their religion to conduct a ceremony it deems immoral while not understanding that we were campaigning to get the government to open it up to religions that want to take part not force anyone to do it, to the straight people that were possibly more vocal than some of the LGBT people I know on the importance of equality to the reactions of my own parents.

I love my parents very much and I don’t doubt that they love me but I think they both had very different reactions. My mum is incredible, she gets angry at homophobes on the Internet and goes on mini rants about how I’m allowed to love whoever I want, it probably helps that she loves my girlfriend (note to self: keep this one). My dad had a different reaction, while he fully supports civil partnerships having the same benefits as marriage (although they currently don’t) he doesn’t understand the importance of the word marriage to the people who currently can’t have one, he says it is just a word, not knowing the full power of words to the people they are denied. He also said he doesn’t care whether or not it happens because it has no effect on his life. Dad, I love you but how does it not effect you? I’m your daughter and this tiny piece of legislation will make my life and my love equal in the eyes of the law to yours, I think that it pretty damn important. 

I should point out in fairness to my dad that he has never once been unsupportive of me when it comes to my sexuality, he was much more accepting that I ever could have asked for and I am truly grateful for that.

Now back to the legislation, being a sucker for words I have to say I’m not delighted by the words the Scottish Government used when announcing the news. Their Twitter feed says they ‘intend’ to make it into legislation which is rubbish wording on their part. I intend to go on a diet but it doesn’t mean I’m actually going to do it.

I’m also in two minds about the additional protection they want to bring in for religious bodies, one part of me hates this, this is our legislation, the Catholic Church can jog on. However, as it was pointed out on Facebook by a friend of mine that is a law student and who knows her stuff, the majority of legislation isn’t overturned in the Scottish Parliament but in the courts afterwards so giving these religious bodies extra protection will hopefully mean that when they decide to try and overturn the legislation in court they won’t have a leg to stand on.

All of this legislation stuff will mean nothing until it actually goes through in whatever ridiculously long time frame the Scottish Government gives themselves and less still until the day I get to drag my girlfriend down the aisle.

To end on I would like to congratulate all of the campaigners that worker tirelessly on lobbying all of the MSPs on this, and to every single MSP who has stood up in support of equal marriage, let’s be honest this isn’t something we can thank only the SNP for just because they happen to be in power but something we can thank every single supportive MSP for because they stood up for what they believe in (especially Patrick Harvie because I get goosebumps every time I’ve seen him talk at a rally or Pride).


On being a student president

Once upon a time there was a naive, little girl who had a simple dream.

To change the world.

It couldn’t be that hard, she told herself. Many people had changed the world before her. Some for good and some… Well some not so good at all. Her dream, however, was to make a positive impact. She wasn’t sure where but she did know one thing. She really liked education.

Education was everything to a society, those who were educated tended to flourish and those that didn’t had a very tough time indeed from what she could see from behind her rose-tinted glasses.

That girl grew up and someone forgot to tell her to take off the rose-tinted glasses. She became the president of a college. It was everything she ever hoped it would not be.

I know you all know that this story doesn’t belong in the fiction section but the little girl never thought it would become a sad often horror-like story.

Being a president is not fun. It is not something anyone should take on light-heartedly. It is so much worse when you aren’t paid, working part-time to pay the rent and studying.

Colleges are having their budgets slashed and at a time when universities are being given more money, why should their activists rock the boat?

Colleges have long been the forgotten, underfunded institutions that struggle to survive. Doing the best with what little they have to give second chances to mature students and first chances to some of the poorest.

The fact is that many people wouldn’t have made it where they are without the college sector.

It becomes even worse when the only people tackling this are in the sector, forcing the government to look down their noses and sneer at the people asking for more money for themselves when in reality they are trying to save the education of thousands.

I am one of the only people fighting at my college. On a day when my lecturers strike over their pensions, and believe me I support them with all my heart, I can’t help but ask why they aren’t tackling the real issue. I know the cuts to pensions are a awful thing but a 10% cut to colleges lost 1000 people their jobs, why aren’t they fighting the 20% cut instead. Shouldn’t protecting their jobs be more important than protecting their pension?

Being a president is awful when only two people on your SRC want to fight and the rest don’t seem to care. Being a president is awful when the staff can’t see past the pensions to the bigger picture. Being a president is awful when you realise you’re beginning to lose the will to fight.